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Old August 8, 2019, 10:17 AM   #1
HughScot
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Background Checks

I am curious as to why gun owners are against a mandatory background check before the purchase of a firearm?
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Old August 8, 2019, 10:24 AM   #2
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Why don't we have one for buying chain saws, automobiles, kitchen knives or any other implements that can cause death?
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Old August 8, 2019, 10:42 AM   #3
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Does the exercise of any other Constitutional right require a background check? Why should the right to bear arms be any different?
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Old August 8, 2019, 10:43 AM   #4
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I am an odd duck. I actually have no problems with background checks and frankly wish there was a quick and easy way/app whatever that I could VOLUNTARILY background check a potential buyer. Give me a code number for my records.

That being said I have no illusions about bad folks doing bad things. I mean we could magically turn all guns to remote controls tomorrow and some jackhole will burn down a convent or blow up a mall or run a bunch of folks down.

Murder and mayhem comes in a couple flavors

-Crimes of passion (Generally folks snap quick, use whats at hand and hurt a small number of folks, hard to stop this.

-General Crime - This is what we can have the most effect on. Make ANY violent crime an issue. RUN DOWN the shots fired calls, RUN DOWN the ATTEMPTS etc. Just because Johnny Neck Tattoo sucks at trying to kill you today doesn't mean he will tomorrow. You need to get these folks BEFORE they graduate to the big leagues.

-Politically motivated stuff - Hard to stop this. Best way to handle this is look for the signs. Some of these folks seem to basically lay out their what and how long before they do. True terrorism is gonna happen. Hard to mitigate.

-CRAZY - Here is another that will be hard to stop. We are seeing lots of kids let their crazy un tuck because of bullying or because they cannot get a girl or whatever. This is a societal issue. Is it because we have our first generations growing up being told they are ALWAYS a winner and or only socialize electronically? Is it a generation brought up on drugs(legal/prescribed). I dunno?? I just know that there is something at the root here that needs to be looked at addressed that will not be fixed by background checks.

Lots of the high profile stuff over the past years have been done by folks who have PASSED background checks. Do we need to add more psychological info? Do we need to look at what drugs they may or may not have all been prescribed? I dunno but the point is background checks are not a end all be all today nor would they be tomorrow.

All that said, I have no problem with them (in general terms). I have problem with them when they are simply a means to an anti gun end. "Well know you need a background check every time you hand a gun to the person you take to the range and then again when they hand it back and then again...... " You get the point.

Personally, spend the money and put beat cops on the ground and support them. That will give you your biggest return on investment, IMO.
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Old August 8, 2019, 10:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HughScot
I am curious as to why gun owners are against a mandatory background check before the purchase of a firearm?
I believe you will see three sorts of reasons, practical, prudential, and constitutional.

The practical problem with making everyone pay for a background check every time possession of a firearm changes is that it imposes a cost on the transferor and transferee in terms of time and money. It is an impediment to a benign and consensual transaction. Were the point is to make having guns harder by making every legal transfer a pita, people don't want to have their costs increased. There is another practical problem in that simply having one's name on a list may not indicate a rational criterion for denial. If your name is John Smith, you may be denied for someone else's bad acts. You may also be on the list for an indefensible reason. Note our recent experience with "no fly" lists.

The prudential problem is that this evolves into a federal gun registry, which we aren't supposed to have under federal law (GCA/FOPA). FFL are federal licensees, and while such a registry may not be centralized, it is ultimately under federal control.

I have a constitutional problem with federal regulation of a categorically intrastate transfer that may not even be a commercial transaction. While the commerce clause of the COTUS has been stretched out of shape badly by nearly a century of result oriented jurisprudence, that's a poor reason for another poor decision.

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Old August 8, 2019, 11:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HughScot
I am curious as to why gun owners are against a mandatory background check before the purchase of a firearm?
The reason for me is that the Second Amendment -- which is part of the Constitution, the highest law of the land -- says that my right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Period.

There's nothing in there about "If you pass a background check."

Most criminals get their guns either by stealing them, or by purchasing them at night on a dark street corner from someone else who steals them. The most stringent background checks in the world will not and cannot regulate the black market.
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Old August 8, 2019, 11:06 AM   #7
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Very interesting answers, but since something will be done, like it or not, I would think doing this might keep guns out of some nuts hands. If we all take a head in the sand attitude it might get a lot worse. Nobody wants another assault weapon ban. This can be discussed both ways forever.

A guy I'm familiar with wrote a piece in the NYT. It can be read here. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/b...sultPosition=1

Last edited by HughScot; August 8, 2019 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Addition
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Old August 8, 2019, 11:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HughScot
Very interesting answers, but since something will be done, like it or not...
What was done after Sandyhook?
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Old August 8, 2019, 11:29 AM   #9
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First, I feel the need to clarify the specific details for further readers who may stumble across this thread. The question is about background checks for private sales of firearms. Not bought from a storefront who has a Federal Firearms License.

Plenty of people out there believe that it is possible to buy a gun from a firearms dealer without the background check, without any paperwork, etc. That is not true.

And aside from the already stated arguments against the 'universal' background check for private sales of firearms, my concern is enforcement of such a law. Currently, if a law enforcement officer has pulled me over for a traffic stop, I tell the officer I am carrying, theres a chance the guns serial number might be run thru the database to see if it has been reported as stolen. That's all well and good, we want stolen property to get returned to rightful owners.
But once law enforcement officers are burdened with determining if a person has lawfully taken possession of that weapon, then it gets complicated. This would mean that every gun sale at a ffl would have to be entered into a database, and every private transaction, would also get entered. Next, every gun that we already own that is NOT in that database would have to get entered. Now, do you think the government would just allow us to register all our weapons free of charge? Of course not, there would be fees charged to offset the costs of setting up and maintaining that database.

All that would have to happen, so when a LEO runs the serials on the gun I carry, they will know the weapon is lawfully owned/registered.
And that's what the UBC will mean: Each and every weapon must be registered, or it gets confiscated and the possessor gets charged with the crime of 'possessing an unregistered firearm'.

Know who won't go thru the trouble of registering their guns? Criminals.

So why should I be forced to go thru the troubles just to make those who hate guns "feel" safe? They are already safe from me, because I am not a criminal.
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Old August 8, 2019, 11:41 AM   #10
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In regard to that last comment, I can buy a rife from a store without a background check. Don't know about Alaska.
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Old August 8, 2019, 11:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by HughScot View Post
In regard to that last comment, I can buy a rife from a store without a background check. Don't know about Alaska.
If you're buying from a store, it presumably has an FFL. (If not, it shouldn't be selling rfles.) If you're buying from an FFL, you're either: (a) having a background check done; (b) in possession of a document, like a concelaled handgun permit, that exempts you from the background check; or (c) committing a federal crime.
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Old August 8, 2019, 11:46 AM   #12
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The devil is always in the details.

Quote:
I am curious as to why gun owners are against a mandatory background check before the purchase of a firearm?
I would use the term; Extended Background Checks. I say that because in Iowa, we already have "background checks" and personally, I'm okay with that. I know that every state is different but in Iowa, they issue a "Permit-To-Buy a Handgun", as well as a carry Shall-Issue permit. Both have differing requirements. ….

Extended Background Checks.
I am totally against that as I have seen some of the proposed requirements. Also, when tragedies like the recent shooting happen, the first thing that comes up, is the "Gun" and all related physical items, when we should be addressing people. …….

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 8, 2019, 11:48 AM   #13
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In regard to that last comment, I can buy a rife from a store without a background check. Don't know about Alaska.
You are saying you can walk into the local "Gun Monger" or Academy Sports or whatever and say, I would like the .30-06 bolt gun on the left here is my credit card and that is ALL you have to do? Not present a valid Carry Permit IN LIEU of a background check but literally present nothing/fill nothing out except you credit card/card receipt. I am calling BS on that.

You can buy a rifle in any (well most states) as an out of state person and not have to have it shipped to a local FFL but the gun must be legal in your state an a federal background check will still be run. Only difference is you can take the rifle there instead of having it shipped to a home FFL.

I have never heard of anywhere you can buy a rifle from a STORE that doesn't require a background check. Flea market........yeah, store.. no.
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Old August 8, 2019, 11:50 AM   #14
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Couple of problems:

It's not just a background check for purchasing a gun, it's a background check for transferring a gun to someone outside your immediate family, (the proposals I've seen lately have an exemption for immediate family) which is a nebulous term that could include letting someone else shoot your gun at the range.

The background check has to be done by a FFL, who will charge $20 or more for it. You can't just call the NICS yourself to do a background check for a private sale; I might be for that.

Registration leads to confiscation. Always; sometimes it just takes a while. Just take a look at the thread about police in NY state stealing guns from the estates of people within days of their death.
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Old August 8, 2019, 11:53 AM   #15
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Maybe the laws have changed but I've bought several rifles over the years and never had a background check. Handguns yes, rifles no. Oh well times change.
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Old August 8, 2019, 12:02 PM   #16
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In regard to that last comment, I can buy a rife from a store without a background check. Don't know about Alaska.
A person with a concealed weapons permit in Alaska, may obtain the NICS-Exempt designation if they wish, by submitting an additional form with their application, looks like the form contains all the questions off the 4473. Doesn't appear to cost any extra, though I want to say that it also requires sending a second set of fingerprints.

So, while you are technically correct, that in some states, a person might be able to make a purchase of a firearm without having a NICS check performed, that is only because their concealed carry permit process allows that. They have already had stringent background checks performed.
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Old August 8, 2019, 12:15 PM   #17
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I have been educated. Last time was probably 25 years ago when I bought a 22 for my son. Thanks.
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Old August 8, 2019, 01:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
I am curious as to why gun owners are against a mandatory background check before the purchase of a firearm?
Quote:
but since something will be done, like it or not, I would think doing this might keep guns out of some nuts hands. If we all take a head in the sand attitude it might get a lot worse. Nobody wants another assault weapon ban.
Something HAS been done, badly. Multiple times, with increasing requirements each time, and each time, badly.

Do understand that those of us who oppose mandatory background checks are opposed to two different things.

Those things may be called the Principle, and the Practical. And while they are intertwined they are separate things.

"Keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them"

It sounds fine, it actually is fine, it is the right thing to do. There absolutely ARE people who should not have guns. There are also people who should not have knives, matches, or control motor vehicles.

Now, how do you determine if someone is one of those people??? The only semi-reliable way is to look at what they have done. But it is only semi-reliable, because the mind of man is as trackless as a bog at midnight. The only way we have to know what a person is thinking, is by what they say, and you know what? People can, and do, lie.

So, right there, we have a huge flaw in the background check idea. Like they tell you about buying stocks, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Usually, and most often, it is, but not always every time...

Another issue is that no background check can stop an individual who has no background to check. It can do nothing to anyone who has committed no crime (or has never been caught..). Further complicating the matter is personal privacy of your records. Particularly medical records.

One of the reasons we oppose mandatory background checks is the principle they use, "presumption of guilt", which is completely the opposite of the way we are taught our legal system is supposed to work.

Another reason is the awareness that since it is a government run system, it WILL screw up. This is one of the Practical points. Other practical points are making us pay for the privilege of exercising an enumerated Constitutional right, and the ever expanding requirements.

If, as stated, the point is to keep guns from the hands of those who shouldn't have them (at this point in time it means people likely to do harm with them) how does that affect the guy buyer who ISN'T a first time buyer?
It doesn't, and it can't. If you already have a gun, or a couple dozen, a background check on your next gun purchase has zero effect on your ability to do harm, if you so choose. Period.

SO, a background check stopping an individual from committing harm with a gun, only applies to first time gun buyers who have a background with something in it that disqualifies them from legal purchase.

NO existing system or proposed system can get around those basic points. And yet, we are "sold" the idea as if it could.

Yet another reason I oppose mandatory check laws is that they remove my right to exercise my own judgement. AND in some places would make ME a criminal for using my own judgement.

Many states have background check laws far in excess of current Federal requirements. In my state, now, I can't sell a gun or give it to a friend of 20+ years, who held a government security clearance a couple levels above Top Secret, and who has more guns than some stores, without taking me, the gun, and him to an FFL dealer, and paying them to run a background check. Its rather irritating.

The subject is a big can of worms, and we've only looked at the very top layer here, so far. This is NOT as simple as the sound bytes and slogans make it seem.

Other points involved are the government's "reluctance" to prosecute people who are denied with cause, and the fact that even someone who passes all checks can do evil anytime they choose.

Wasn't the Pulse nightclub killer a licensed security guard, who not only passed all standard checks but also more in depth psychological exams??

We now have a clamor for more "in depth" background checks, yet I see no one stating exactly what those are, or how they could be any more effective then what we already have.

There's a lot more to discuss I tried to hit points not previously mentioned.

Here's a related point, about the complaint(s) of the various killers having bought their guns legally. The news bleats about how this is a bad thing, and implying (if not outright stating) that the background check system was inadequate, while conveniently and consistently leaving out the fact that these mass killers were NOT killers or even criminals UNTIL they started shooting people. The background check system actually WORKED, exactly as it was designed to. Just not the way we were told it would work....
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Old August 8, 2019, 01:42 PM   #19
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I have been educated. Last time was probably 25 years ago when I bought a 22 for my son. Thanks.
And there you have it... Every purchase from a sporting goods store, gun shop, big box...etc...is background checked. The only exceptions are private Intrastate sales. However, States like Illinois require private sales to be background checked through its FOID system. The so call "gun show loophole" doesn't exist because either the seller is a private individual or a dealer, in which case background checks already apply (either directly or indirectly).

Amazing (or not) how the media bends this to their own form of truth.
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Old August 8, 2019, 01:53 PM   #20
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I would think doing this might keep guns out of some nuts hands.
First off, I won't see our rights negotiated on the basis of mights and maybes. Every bad law we've endured has been sold on the idea that it will improve public safety. Not one has.

I've long posed the same question to gun-control advocates: if the approach of reducing violence by restricting tools works, point me to one instance. I've never received an answer. Usually, they'll pivot to slogans or accusations that I'm a paid shill for the gun lobby.

Quote:
Nobody wants another assault weapon ban.
This is rooted in the erroneous belief that we can deal with gun-control advocates in good faith. They made their goal clear in the 1970s and 1980s: complete bans, starting with incremental laws and working their way up.

Giving them extra background checks or a registry or whatever isn't going to placate them. They'll just be back next year pushing for another assault weapons ban. In light of that, there is absolutely no reason to negotiate.
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Old August 8, 2019, 01:54 PM   #21
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How about background checks for the purchase of alcohol and recreational drugs-tied into the driver's license ? A "hit" on your license-a DUI conviction-no booze for you !
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Old August 8, 2019, 01:54 PM   #22
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It's not just a background check for purchasing a gun, it's a background check for transferring a gun to someone outside your immediate family, (the proposals I've seen lately have an exemption for immediate family) which is a nebulous term that could include letting someone else shoot your gun at the range.
It is my understanding that this and other ridiculous conditions are listed in the proposed; Extended Background Checks.. I am and Hunter Safety Instructor and routinely transport our teaching firearms. They belong to two conservation clubs and during a typical class, will be fired by a large number of folks and yes, will be transported to be cleaned and inspected by some of the instructors. …..

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Old August 8, 2019, 02:00 PM   #23
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What about improperly-and maliciously-and false information in the database. Say an ex-wife is angry because you won't increase the child support payments. She claims you "threatened" her and....people with common names. Arrests-but no conviction, charges dismissed, etc.
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Old August 8, 2019, 02:14 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo
Giving them extra background checks or a registry or whatever isn't going to placate them. They'll just be back next year pushing for another assault weapons ban. In light of that, there is absolutely no reason to negotiate.
I believe that HughScot employs a suing for peace paradigm to this political conflict. He isn't the only writer here who makes this appeal, and I've no reason to believe that his sentiment is insincere.

In the Sue for Peace paradigm, you are in a fight you know you are going to lose. You are the Kaiser in 1917 or a pedestrian in a park facing a mugger. If you are the Kaiser, you consent to the terms at Versailles because at least you don't lose everything. If you are the pedestrian, you say "Here, take my wallet!" so he isn't searching your corpse for it. Both require some level of confidence that the other party will abide by the terms.

That paradigm is not applicable to political conflicts. There is no such thing as a permanent settlement of terms on which the adversaries will proceed. If there were, the response to Dayton could be "Look at the 1968 GCA. We didn't agree to that new restriction you want, so no can do." The political model is more like a nature program in which the lions look for the lame member of the herd to fall out of step. It's the weakness that precipitates the attack.

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Old August 8, 2019, 02:57 PM   #25
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in possession of a document, like a concelaled handgun permit, that exempts you from the background check;
Depends on the state you live in and WHO issues the CCW permit. Here in FLA NICS check is done regardless of what you have in your wallet
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